Auxiliary Organizations of the CSU
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A History of Auxiliary Organizations

The California State University provides the citizens of California with a full range of academic and related experiences that befit the largest single university system in the world. The state, while recognizing the need for an extensive network of services to complement the core academic mission and to provide the full range of educational experiences, has chosen a unique form to furnish some of these needs. The state has adopted a framework whereby some essential services are to be provided by other entities called auxiliary organizations. These non-profit organizations are organized by the respective campus as separate legal entities under the parameters outlined in special legislation contained in the Education Code. They operate in association with campuses or the headquarters office pursuant to special written agreements and are chartered solely for the purpose of performing functions that contribute to the educational mission of the university. The Board of Trustees of the CSU and campus presidents have oversight and general supervisory responsibility to assure compliance with CSU policy. Most auxiliary organizations are incorporated. All have a governing board that has close campus linkages and responsibilities defined by an interconnected and over-arching framework of education code statutes and trustee and campus policies.

Auxiliary organizations in the California State University have been in existence for many decades as a necessary supplement to state-supported instructional and administrative activities. The first organization, the Fresno State College Association, was established in 1922. Student associations have operated at San Jose, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Chico, Fresno, and other campuses since the early 1920′s. The growth of auxiliary organizations has paralleled the growth in size and complexity of the California State University.

These organizations are also governed by applicable laws and regulations of the federal and state governments. In addition, they operate within the policies established by the Board of Trustees, the chancellor and campuses. Most of these organizations can be grouped into major functional categories, however in several instances one organization performs more than one of the following functions:

  1. Associated Student Body Organizations: These are student-run organizations that operate such extra-curricular activities as student government, student newspapers, athletics, cultural programs, and many other student activities related to the overall educational mission of the campus. Revenues come from student fees voted by the students which are collected by the university and used by the student organization under the oversight of the university.
  2. Special Educational Projects: These organizations administer projects which have a direct relationship to the educational process of the campuses and are funded by numerous sources. Major sources of support come from federal, state and private grants and contracts. Projects are designed to meet the needs of the program sponsor and campus programs.
  3. Student Union Operations: Student union fees collected by the campus are deposited in a special state fund to pay for the principal, interest and other costs of bonds issued for construction of student union facilities. Any surpluses remaining after payment of these expenses from the student union fees become available for other purposes related to the student union including the programÕs operations which are administered by an auxiliary organization. The organization also operates the student union facilities.
  4. Commercial Activities: These activities consist mostly of the operation of bookstores, food services and agricultural projects. Agrarian activities are particularly important to campuses offering instruction involving direct experience with farms, cattle, poultry, etc. Revenues are derived from the sales of products and services to the CSU community of students, faculty and staff as well as to the public at large participating in community, educational or cultural events on or in CSU facilities.

In addition, there are special purpose auxiliary organizations that perform such activities as fund raising and endowment management, sports and recreation, campus radio stations, etc. The auxiliary organizations must be self-supporting and do not receive funding from general fund sources. Pursuant to existing laws and policies, the materials, facilities, and services provided by the campus to these separate entities are paid for by the auxiliary organization. Revenue in excess of expenditures for a given period is used to establish working capital and reserves, and to pay for capital expenditures or special campus programs.